Band of 55 skips vacation in countdown to SJS concert

HARD AT WORK: The band members being put through their paces by music director Wong yesterday morning.

KUCHING: The theme of celebration will be at the heart of the musical programme for the St Joseph Secondary School (SJS) Band concert this Dec 15 as the school celebrates the 131st year of its founding.

During a visit to the school yesterday, thesundaypost found the fifty-five band members and colour guard comprising  students aged between 12 and 16 years old from SJS, St Joseph Primary School Kuching, and St Joseph Private School, hard at work rehearsing for the milestone event, even though it was a weekend when they were supposed to be on holiday.

In keeping with tradition, the school has once again invited international guest musicians to perform with the band during the concert entitled ‘131 Years of St Joseph’s School: A Celebration in Concert’.

“The idea of bringing these guest artists and musicians in every year is so that we can give back to the community, to give them something to enjoy. At the same time, with international groups like this, when our students play with them, inevitably, they will benefit also,” said band director June Ling.

This year’s international guest artistes are the BAM! Percussion Trio (Singapore), trumpet soloist Yap Thien Soo (Singapore) and timpani soloist Jonathan Fox who is based in Singapore.

Fox has been working with the band since 2008 and is also presently the band’s coordinator. The band’s music director Anthony Wong will also be performing on the solo alto saxophone.

Ling also revealed that the band is inviting residents from the Salvation Army kids and members of the Brigade Bands from various churches to attend a special full-dress rehearsal before the concert.

Earlier this year, the band won a first-place finish at the German Open Championships in Chemnitz, Germany.

Closer to home, their marching band was named Malaysian National Champions in 2006 as well as Sarawak State Champions nine times between 2000 and 2010.

The Dec 15 concert is scheduled to commence at 7:30pm at Trinity Methodist Church in Jalan Ellis.

Tickets are priced at RM50 (for students), RM100, RM200 and RM500. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact SJS at 082240885, or St Joseph’s Private School at 082414575 during office hours.

Tickets will also be on sale at the door, subject to availability.

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